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Jane Austen

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Austen, Jane

Rare books by Jane Austen, including first editions, copies in fine bindings, and handsome sets of her collected works.

Jane Austen is one of England’s most revered writers, known for her witty novels of manners. Four of her full-length novels were published during her lifetime in three-volume format, beginning with Sense and Sensibility in 1811, and her most successful work, Pride and Prejudice in 1813. NorthangerAbbey and Persuasion were published posthumously together in four volumes in 1818. Austen’s earlier novels had been financially successful, but sales of the final two tailed off.

Her books remained out of print for 12 years until publisher Richard Bentley purchased the rights and issued the first inexpensive, single-volume illustrated editions in his Standard Novels series. But Austen remained a relatively marginal author until the publication of her nephew’s Memoir of Jane Austen in 1869, which renewed interest in her books and led to increasingly serious literary analysis of her work. In the 1890s, collected editions, many of them illustrated, began to appear. Today her first editions, the Bentley editions, and the later collected editions are all highly sought-after by collectors.

Read our blog entry By A Lady: First Editions of the Novels of Jane Austen

Watch a video of Adam Douglas, our Senior Specialist in Early Literature, introducing a selection of Jane Austen’s first editions and explaining how the different Jane Austen bindings affect value..

Rare books by Jane Austen, including first editions, copies in fine bindings, and handsome sets of her collected works.

Jane Austen is one of England’s most revered writers, known for her witty novels of manners. Four of her full-length novels were published during her lifetime in three-volume format, beginning with Sense and Sensibility in 1811, and her most successful work, Pride and Prejudice in 1813. NorthangerAbbey and Persuasion were published posthumously together in four volumes in 1818. Austen’s earlier novels had been financially successful, but sales of the final two tailed off.

Her books remained out of print for 12 years until publisher Richard Bentley purchased the rights and issued the first inexpensive, single-volume illustrated editions in his Standard Novels series. But Austen remained a relatively marginal author until the publication of her nephew’s Memoir of Jane Austen in 1869, which renewed interest in her books and led to increasingly serious literary analysis of her work. In the 1890s, collected editions, many of them illustrated, began to appear. Today her first editions, the Bentley editions, and the later collected editions are all highly sought-after by collectors.

Read our blog entry By A Lady: First Editions of the Novels of Jane Austen

Watch a video of Adam Douglas, our Senior Specialist in Early Literature, introducing a selection of Jane Austen’s first editions and explaining how the different Jane Austen bindings affect value..

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  1. Sense and Sensibility.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    Sense and Sensibility. [1813]

    £9,750.00

    Second edition. Sense and Sensibility was first published in late 1811, and the first edition was sold out by July 1813. This second edition, with the text significantly revised by Austen and the substitution of “By the author of Pride and Prejudice” for “By a … Read more

  2. Sense and Sensibility.
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    [AUSTEN, Jane.]

    Sense and Sensibility. [1813]

    £12,500.00

    Second edition. An attractive copy in an uncommon contemporary binding. Sense and Sensibility was first published in late 1811, and the first edition was sold out by July 1813. This second edition, with the text significantly revised by Austen and the substitution of “By the … Read more

  3. Emma: a Novel.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    Emma: a Novel. [1816]

    £12,500.00

    First edition of perhaps the most perfectly constructed of Jane Austen’s novels. She had fallen out with Egerton over publication of Mansfield Park and transferred to Murray, who published the second edition of that book and the first edition of Emma on the same terms: … Read more

  4. Pride and Prejudice: a novel.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    Pride and Prejudice: a novel. [1817]

    £5,500.00

    Third edition, the only one of Austen’s novels to be published a third time in her lifetime (though whether it was actually published before or after her death on 18 July 1817 is unknown). Read more

  5. Sense and Sensibility. A Novel.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    Sense and Sensibility. A Novel. [1833]

    £1,950.00

    First Bentley edition, the third edition overall, also the first one-volume edition. Bentley bought the copyrights of all Jane Austen’s works to include them in his Standard Novels series, apparently aiming at the private buyer, as circulating libraries still had copies of the originals. Bentley … Read more

  6. Sense and Sensibility.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    Sense and Sensibility. [1833]

    £1,500.00

    First Bentley edition, the third edition overall. Bentley issued these novels in his Standard Novels series in 1833. Read more

  7. Northanger Abbey; [&] Persuasion.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    Northanger Abbey; [&] Persuasion. [1856]

    £950.00

    Bentley included Austen’s novels in his 1833 series of Standard Novels, and was the first English publisher to issue them after 1818. The engraved title and frontispiece still bear the 1833 date, although the title page reflects the year of re-issue. Read more

  8. The Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Novels. [1870]

    £2,250.00

    New edition. Richard Bentley first published Jane Austen’s works in his Standard Novels series in 1833 and he continued to reprint her works for the next half century, representing the bridge from the original lifetime editions to the later critical and fully illustrated editions. Read more

  9. The Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Novels. [1871]

    £1,500.00

    A very handsomely bound set of the novels of Jane Austen. Richard Bentley first issued these books in his Standard Novels series in 1833, and the firm reissued them several times over the course of the century; this set consists of reprints of the ‘New … Read more

  10. Pride & Prejudice.
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    (THOMSON, Hugh.) AUSTEN, Jane.

    Pride & Prejudice. [1894]

    £2,250.00

    First Hugh Thomson edition. A handsomely bound copy. Read more

  11. Pride and Prejudice.
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    (THOMSON, Hugh.) AUSTEN, Jane.

    Pride and Prejudice. [1894]

    £6,000.00

    First Thomson edition, one of 250 large paper copies for Britain, with another 25 done for America. Thomson’s “light touch and feeling for period manners provide a charming and accessible gloss to the author’s work” (ODNB). Read more

  12. Pride & Prejudice.
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    (THOMSON, Hugh.) AUSTEN, Jane.

    Pride & Prejudice. [1894]

    £1,375.00

    First Thomson edition, first impression. A handosme copy. Thomson’s “light touch and feeling for period manners provide a charming and accessible gloss to the author’s work” (ODNB). Read more

  13. The Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Novels. [1900]

    £3,000.00

    A handsomely bound set. Read more

  14. The Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Novels. [1900]

    £2,250.00

    A handsomely bound set. Read more

  15. The Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Novels. [1903]

    £1,500.00

    A Handsomely bound set. Read more

  16. The Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Novels. [1907]

    £1,250.00

    First Brock editions of the complete novels of Jane Austen. C. E. Brock (1870-1938) first appeared as an illustrator of Jane Austen within Macmillan’s 1895-7 series (with introductions by Austin Dobson), Brock illustrating only Pride and Prejudice, and Hugh Thomson illustrating the other five titles. … Read more

  17. Emma.
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    AUSTEN, Jane. (BROCK, C. E.)

    Emma. [1909]

    £1,250.00

    A lovely, fresh copy in the deluxe vellum binding, published as part of the “Series of English Idylls” by J. M. Dent & Co. Though sometimes qualified as “chocolate-box”, Brock’s illustrations showed a sharp eye for characterisation and the ironic humour of Jane Austen’s world. … Read more

  18. The Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Novels. [1911]

    £3,500.00

    The Winchester edition; considered the most attractive of the unillustrated editions of Jane Austen’s works produced around this time. In this enlarged issue, the set has two additional volumes, comprising Lady Susan and The Watsons, taken from the 1871 Memoir, together with Jane Austen’s letters. Read more

  19. Emma.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    Emma. [1912]

    £300.00

    A handsomely bound copy, with Brock’s charming and fresh illustrations. Read more

  20. Sense & Sensibility.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    Sense & Sensibility. [1912]

    £300.00

    A handsomely bound copy, with Brock’s charming and fresh illustrations. Read more

  21. Pride and Prejudice.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    Pride and Prejudice. [1914]

    £350.00

    A handsomely bound copy, with Brock’s charming and fresh illustrations. Read more

  22. The Novels [and] The Letters.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Novels [and] The Letters. [1923]

    £4,500.00

    Large-paper edition, limited to 1000 sets, of which 950 are for sale. A particularly handsome set of Austen’s novels. Read more

  23. The Complete Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Complete Novels. [1928]

    £1,375.00

    First one-volume edition. Read more

  24. The Complete Novels.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    The Complete Novels. [1928]

    £1,375.00

    First one-volume edition. Read more

  25. Emma.
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    AUSTEN, Jane.

    Emma. [1991]

    £175.00

    A handsome leather bound volume of this classic novel which was first published in 1816. Read more

  1. New Arrival

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